Steady progress made in DR Congo - representative

Kinshasa- DR Congo (PANA) -- The UN Secretary General's special representative in the DR Congo, Kamel Morjane, has indicated some progress has been made in the peace process in the DRC since December 1999.
Morjane was speaking during an interview as his term, which started in Kinshasa during that date, is drawing to a close.
He, however, said more needed to be done in the areas of disarmament, demobilisation and resettlement of armed groups.
"We have gone a long way.
But there is still a long distance, with many obstacles, to go," he said.
He cited these obstacles as the withdrawal of foreign troops from the DRC, the demilitarisation of Kisangani and reopening river traffic, among others.
Questioned on the position of the UN regarding the refusal of the Rwanda-backed Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD-Congo) rebels to withdraw from Kisangani, Morjane said that the Security Council still insisted on the demilitarisation of the city where, on three occasions, Rwandan and Ugandan forces have fought each other, destroying it in the process.
He said he was optimistic about the solution on this problem, after having recalled the compromise which the UN Observer Mission in Congo (MONUC) and RCD had reached in 2000, but which had not been implemented at the time because the UN force had not yet arrived in DRC's third city.
Answering another question, he pointed out the special status of the Mai Mai warriors which the Lusaka accords did not consider as an armed group which must be disarmed like the Inter'ahamwe (former Hutu militiamen) and former FAR (armed forces) from Rwanda.
He also expressed satisfaction over the decision of the rebels of Congolese Liberation Movement (MLC) of Jean-Pierre Bemba who, according to him, have shown signs of being "more positive for reconstruction, peace and democracy in DRC.
" Speaking on the inter-Congolese dialogue, Morjane admitted that the process was not moving at the desired speed.
He stressed, however, that it was up to the Congolese to set their priorities right, and that the UN and the rest of the international community could only help them when the need arose.

24 july 2001 21:18:00

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